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Film Studies 101
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Rick Moranis
Bill Pullman
Daphne Zuniga
John Candy
George Wyner
Dick Van Patten
Mel Brooks.
Mel Brooks.
Mel Brooks
Thomas Meehan
Ronny Graham.
Running Time
96 minutes

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Mel Brook's sci-fi spoof

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When Princess Vespa, daughter of King Roland, ruler of Druidia, is kidnapped by an evil race, The Spaceballs, space pirate Lone Starr is persuaded by Roland to lead a daring rescue mission.


At some point in movie history, the director who split our sides with superb spoofs The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein became the schmuck who caused our lips to curl and arses to pucker with Robin Hood: Men In Tights and Dracula: Dead And Loving It. That quality-shedding metamorphosis could well have occurred during the production of Spaceballs, when Brooks settled his parody-seeking eye on sci-fi – mainly the big, fat, soft target that is the Star Wars saga, but also a collection of other obvious space-based targets like Alien, Planet Of The Apes and, er, Transformers. 
       Subtlety had never been Brooks’ thing, but even blunt blows need to be well aimed, and while Spaceballs doesn’t exactly miss its targets, it certainly bounces off them embarrassingly. It’s not entirely without its charms – John Candy’s half-man, half-dog Chewbacca-substitute Barf does get some good lines (“I’m my own best friend!”), and there’s an occasional smile-raiser – like the opening, seemingly never-ending spaceship reveal. But even this is a bit of a cheeky lift from Airplane!, in which the same technique was used to convey the ludicrous complexity of a cockpit dashboard.
          Elsewhere, the humour rarely rises above the level of school panto; you’d titter indulgently at characters like Barf the dog-man, Yogurt (Yoda? Yogurt? Do you see?) and Pizza The Hutt if you were watching a bunch of children doing a self-scribbled Star Wars pisstake, but this from the man who wrote Springtime For Hitler? Unforgiveable then, unforgiveable now.

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Average user rating for Spaceballs
Empire Star Rating

Boy Scout Troop review

November 12,2011 Dear Editor, We are sending you our review of the movie spaceballs. We are a group of boy scouts in a communications merit badge course, and we wanted to use our requirement to send in this review. One of our scouts chose to focus his presentation on the movie spaceballs, and he talked about how funny it was. This made us laugh and crack up in our seats, and we couldn't stop talking about how funny the movie was. Some of the comments from the scouts: I love how t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ElvisKungFu at 02:10, 21 November 2011 | Report This Post

do you guys just hate brooks? lol

mwah ha. i just rampaged on the review of robin hood men and tights. spaceballs was brilliant. a great mel brooks parody with an excelent cast. rick moranis was helarious as "Dark Helmet" this is a classic mel brooks film which is underated, and so was robinhood men in tights. i wont go as far as 5 starts but to me it deserves 4. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by EmpireLover at 15:57, 24 August 2010 | Report This Post

The first time I watched it I thought it was genius, but I was 10. The film goes for an Airplane!-style gag-a-second joke rate and does have a few beauties, "Comb the desert!", "Jam the radar", never ending spaceship, etc. But most of the jokes just arent that funny, guys head on backwards?. But it is easy watching and breaks the fourth wall more than any film I've ever seen, watching the video before the film is even finished. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevolegendbauer at 22:13, 18 April 2010 | Report This Post

No Space just Balls

The first time you watch it theres a few giggles, then after watching it more, it becomes boring and almost drains laughter out of you. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 18:14, 21 February 2008 | Report This Post

No Space just Balls

The first time you watch it theres a few giggles, then after watching it more, it becomes boring and almost drains laughter out of you. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dgribble at 18:14, 21 February 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

I enjoyed the idea of capturing the stunt double but thought the rest of the film was utter dreck. ... More

Posted by Lazarus munkey at 02:14, 13 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

Despite having the most boring bland actor of all time in it (Bill Pullman) this is great fun although not amongst Brooks' best. Worth watching for the "comb the desert" gag alone!!tally, why has the reviewer not put his/her/its name to this? ... More

Posted by Monkeyshaver at 13:10, 11 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

I always laughed at the name Pizza the Hutt, oh and the dancing Alien near the end. ... More

Posted by simonmckergan1 at 13:03, 11 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

oh man - i love this movie - loses its momentum towards the end, and some dodgy parts - but i can watch Rick Moranis as Darth Helmet any day of the week and still fall on the floor and have a fit of laughter..... that character alone is just perfect and genius! and gets 4/5 from me ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Lensman at 00:12, 11 July 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

It hasn't aged well, and theres an awful lot of tumbleweed moments where even the cast know what thy're saying isn't particularly fun, but this is probably the last film Mel Brooks has made that is anywhere near worth watching. Always a pleasure to see John Candy and Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman has a good go at doing comedy, its the sort of film that your view experience is improved after a drink (or ten). ... More

Posted by Indio at 00:03, 22 March 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

Definitely has its moments, other times it's very flat, Darth Helmet is a legend though, always making me laugh, I'll have to watch it again sometime /10 ... More

Posted by Lydia_H at 23:58, 21 March 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

I agree with Bozo.  Spaceballs is by no means Mel's best, but it is very entertaining, funny and endlessly quotable 'get back here you fat bearded bitch!'  A great little film. 7/10 ... More

Posted by Lazy wolf eyes at 20:22, 21 March 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spaceballs

I don't agree. I think it's a great film. Not as funny as The Producers and Young Frankenstein perhaps, but a worthy addition to Brook's parody catalogue. It has occassional moments of brilliance, like the villains watching the tape of the film 'Spaceballs', the Princess' headphones, the line 'We'll see each other again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money' and several others. 8.5/10 ... More

Posted by bozo at 20:01, 21 March 2007 | Report This Post

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